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July 1st, 2010 in Shape

Q. How can GERD be treated?

A. GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, or heartburn that affects quality of life) can sometimes be treated without medication. I advise patients to lose weight, avoid eating for at least three hours before bedtime, elevate the head of bed with blocks, and avoid fatty foods, chocolate and peppermint. It can be treated with medications, including antacids such as Gavison, acid blockers such as Tagamet or proton pump inhibitors like Nexium. In certain situations, surgery may be indicated. GERD can be serious, so it is important to seek medical treatment.

-- Dr. Richard A. Krause, ClinSearch (which conducts medical studies for GERD); member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

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